Barry McGuigan gives back

Published Saturday, 03 August 2013
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Almost 30 years ago the Clones Cyclone Barry McGuigan was celebrating his world title, but ever since his retirement at the tender age of 27 he has been giving something back to sport.

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He is best known these days for managing Belfast's up and coming star Carl Frampton and is currently trying to arrange a world title fight for his protege for the Autumn.

But that's not the only project taking up his time - he is also helping hundreds of children across London.

The legacy of the 2012 Olympics lives on in the UK capital city, with the Olympic Park now open for public use.

The former world champ was the first to be granted residency there.

The Copper Box hosted the Olympic handball events and now the Barry McGuigan Boxing Academy has been given an office in the impressive arena.

"It's a win-win situation for us, we get a chance to really develop and expand and for them to get fit, to enjoy an Olympic facility and to come back.

"We are going to be here five days a week, we are going to have a third of a floor for five days of the week and we have real plans to work with a School of Excellence with higher elite athletes as well," said Barry.

Although boxing has always been Barry's first love, the initiative is much more than a one sport event. It aims to promote healthy eating and living as figures from the National Health Service show an increasing amount of obesity in children.

The McGuigan family are all involved in the academy and are encouraging other families to come on board and to box their way to health.

Event organiser Barry Walpole told UTV: "The McGuigan's do it as a team.

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"I am an adopted member of the McGuigan family - but I have been working for them for the last two years so it's been, in terms of getting families down here, that's our main [goal], because everything starts at home, whether it is activity or good habits or bad habits."
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